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May 08 2020


Dennis Wang

Beijing City International School's (BCIS) libraries play an integral role in learning. The Secondary School library has an extensive collection of online and offline resources, multi-functional spaces and is a place for all to focus, gather and learn.

Before the Chinese New Year break, the Secondary School library sent out a request for submissions for an artwork to be featured in the library that embodies "The library is the heart of the school where the community can gather together to explore, share and enjoy their learning." Grade 10 Students Wenlan and Alice were told about the library commission by Secondary School Art teacher Ms Monique Smith and then got to creating their artworks over the Chinese New Year break.

Wenlan's artwork was created on her iPad and has a detailed background of a library scene of people and bookshelves with an almost mysterious feel to it, a book is in the center and a tree is sprouting out of it, representing how reading and knowledge can spark growth. As Wenlan knew the artwork was going to be placed above the library office area, she took this location into consideration and used perspective to give a greater feeling of depth to the viewer.

Alice began by drawing an anatomical picture of a heart 'pumping' knowledge around the SS, which she did entirely in pencil, adding piles of books and students engrossed in reading. Alice drew outstretching parts of the heart to show the library's connectedness to the school, as well as mechanical elements representing how the library functions as a 'motor' for the SS community.

Both the students handed their artworks into SS Teacher Librarian Ms Pamela Bromby, who upon seeing the two submissions suggested a collaborative submission between the students. After brainstorming the composition of their joint submission, the two students worked together to combine their artworks using digital editing tools to best represent the commission outline, resulting in the incredible piece you see below.

About the Artists

Wenlan has always enjoyed creating and in the past entered artworks in school competitions. She now enjoys honing her artistic craft as a hobby, preferring physical media to digital but often utilizes digital media as they are easier to use and the end piece often turns out cleaner. Wenlan has decided she will take IB DP Art next year and, at the moment, wants to pursue a degree in Art or Design in a U.K. university after graduation.

For as long as she can remember Alice has loved Art as a class subject. She has experimented and explored with different media and areas of art. After she heard about the library commission competition, she saw it as an opportunity to challenge herself. Alice has chosen to take BCIS' IDEATE Program in Grade 11 as she thinks it offers her the agency and a curriculum to pursue her passion and develop her creative skills. After graduation Alice wishes to study Art as her college major.